Fahmida was born in Bangladesh and moved with her family to Virginia
at the age of six years old.
She knew she was an artist from the start
, and fought upstream against disapproval of her choice of hobby and career. But she won that battle (which she now laughs about!), and went on to study Communication Arts at VCUarts. She is a graphic designer for the communications firm PRR in Seattle, and has been a contributing artist on a number of projects including the books
Six Word Stories
An artist who has always seen her role as promoting conversation and inspiring dialogue, it's no surprise that in 2017, her illustrations in the Dallas News article "
Yes, Muslim Women Do Things
" went viral, putting the spotlight on her as a rising artist of Muslim background.
Fahmida's work explores issues of culture, identity, and connection. She says:
"I see them as interconnected topics. Culture informs identity, which informs how we connect with people. We do anything and everything to be able to connect with people. We're creating new identities, giving names to te ones we've ignored, and acknowledging that we contain multitudes instead of just binaries. Drawing is how I sort out those ideas."
A few words from Fahmida about her techniques:
I often work digitally, which clients require, but I still have an affinity for traditional mediums like gouache, acrylic, and ink when time allows. My style usually aims to find a balance between naturalistic and textured painting and clean graphic design; it's a play of tradition versus modernity.
Technical stuff aside, I always aim to bring out the personality of each subject I draw by paying close attention to the little things that make everyone unique. I give my characters a sense of purpose and multiple facets. I make sure no one ever has the same face, and every symbol I use is researched for cultural consistency. I want to work on taking it further, creating work that looks and feels autonomous and conveys the free will that makes us human."
Fahmida looks forward to collaborating with publishers to increase inclusiveness and diversity in books. She welcomes a challenge, and is very interested in taking on children's picture book and other illustration projects.
She is passionate about illustrating tales with reflections on identity, a recurrent theme in her work. She would also bring a wonderful sense of authenticity to global picture books, including (but not limited to) those by and about Muslims. She is also developing her own first picture book project, a book which she will both write and illustrate.
Fahmida's lead agent is Lilly Ghahremani, who is equally committed to bringing new diverse voices to publishing. We look forward to finding matches for Fahmida's many talents, and can't wait to see what 2018 holds for this young and promising artist.